Just Give Up

By Johnny Ginter on January 14, 2014 at 11:15a
Not a happy camper

Thad Matta is getting close to disbanding the Ohio State men's basketball team, a source close to the program told 11W on Tuesday.

Apparently, losing back to back games was the final straw that broke the camel's back; Thad Matta was reportedly so frustrated with not winning every game by 15 points (despite losing his only consistent offensive threat to the draft last year), that he has revoked every player's scholarship except Amedeo Della Valle and Jake Lorbach's, calling them "literally the only reason why I get out of bed in the morning" and "my personal role models in life."

Matta's ire has been reserved for the rest of the team, particularly Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith, who he intimated were simply biding their time until the NBA draft. "Everyone's right, these guys just aren't into it anymore, and really never have been." Matta is rumored to have said of two of the winningest players in Ohio State history.

Sam Thompson says he understands Thad Matta's frustration. "Let's be honest: losing two games in a row is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I no longer believe that the universe is ruled by a just and loving God, and now have confronted how infinitesimally small my life is when weighed against the enormity of a cold and uncaring cosmos."

Thompson then added, "We're doomed to walk the earth, no more than shattered husks battered about by the wind. I am a man without a soul, or direction, or a real shot at a three seed in March Madness. GOD! WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?"

Matta's frustration was said to have not just been reserved for his players.

"Look, clearly I have no idea what I'm doing out there. No perimeter defense when the game is on the line, no big man in the paint to stop anything inside, and consistent scoring from anybody is pretty much a pipe dream at this point. At no point in my coaching career, at Ohio State or anywhere else, have I ever encountered and then overcome these kinds of problems."

Truly stirringA Lenzelle Smith original

The stats seem to back up Matta's reasoning. Last year's Ohio State basketball team also lost two games in a row (and then three of four in that same stretch), including a blowout loss at home, and eventually lost their final game of the season.

Had they won the national championship instead of disgracing themselves by falling in the lowly Elite 8, it is unlikely that this kind of furor would be surrounding the program.

After the overtime loss to Michigan State last week, Spartan head coach Tom Izzo noted that "During that 17 point comeback, you knew. I could see it in their eyes as they clawed and scratched their way back into a game in one of the most hostile environments in college basketball: they just did not want to be there." This is backed up by Amir William's assertion that the team really only tried so hard in the last few minutes of the game because "we really just wanted to get off the court somewhat happy with ourselves and then take a nap."

Opponents of the plan to disband the team have been quick to point out that not only has Thad Matta never won fewer than 20 games in any season that he's coached, and that despite going 32-2 before the tournament, the 2011 Ohio State basketball team still couldn't advance past the Sweet 16.

Opponents also say this is an indicator that regular season games aren't really a predictor of postseason success, and that Matta's teams usually get much better over the course of a season.

When told about this, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith had a hollow chuckle before intoning, "This is Ohio State. Fans, players, coaches, fans, myself, and especially fans will not accept anything less than perfect seasons followed by national championships every single year. Anything less is an utter and abject failure on the part of Matta and the players. I have no further comment at this time."

Sources close to the program have learned that instead of basketball, Matta and his players have reportedly taken up the ancient Japanese art of Ikebana, the ancient Japanese art of flower arranging. "Look, my perspective was, if we're not winning 30 plus games and going to the Final Four every season, what's the point?" said Shannon Scott as he carefully placed the water lily in a glass container. "Now that I'm adhering to the principles of wabi-sabi, I'm a much happier person."

Coaches around the Big Ten seemed to endorse the move. When asked about the potential of Thad Matta shuttering the Ohio State program, Tom Crean was in agreement.

Biting his knuckle, the Indiana head coach asked if this was true and was told that it was. "Oh happy day!" shouted Crean, his eyes welling up with tears.


Comments Show All Comments

bobby_gunz's picture

This isn't The Onion - stop the nonsense

AngryWoody's picture

I thought it was funny...

Our Honor Defend!

st pete bch buckeye's picture

I up voted.  Anything real to report?  When will Oden get some pt?

buckeyeEddie27's picture

You're right.  This hilarious free content delivered solely for our enjoyment by a talented writer must end immediately.
lighten up dude.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

Oakland Buckeye's picture

Bravo Johnny - I immediately slide to smile each time I see your byline on a post... Always enjoy a good laugh!

Oakland Buckeye's picture

classic douchebaggery - dv for applauding my 11W columnist of preference. Get those kids outta here!

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  "We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!"

doodah_man's picture

I personally must commend Smith's use of color and height in his arrangement...thumbs up.

Jim "DooDah" Day

"If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.” --Wilbur Wright, 1910

wilkins0802's picture

Come on now..

Truth & Courage, 1-17IN, 5/2 SBCT


Seattle Linga's picture

Does David Lighty have another year of eligibility ?

Barnsey69's picture

I knew it...oh well there's always hockey.

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

Idaho Helga's picture

Johnny,  this is the best thing I've read in awhile here.  Bravo!
There is plenty that can be improved but some of the comments I've read here have been over the top.
If they lose to a decent Minnesota team this week, I will feel compelled to slit my wrists so if I'm not posting on here anymore everyone will know why in advance.  It'll be tough to type without hands or any blood in my body.

Earle's picture

I'm pretty sure it's Fickell's fault.

Have you tried Not Your Father's Root Beer?  It tastes just like the real thing, but it packs a punch (5.9%ABV).  It's a little sweet for me though.  Two is my limit.

RufusVonDufus's picture

Morenlikely as the defense is porous and non existent in the middle!


jamesrbrown322's picture

Isn't everything?

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

Whoa Nellie's picture

And in other news, the sky is falling.  Details at 11.

“Don’t fear criticism. The stands are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down on the field are the doers, they make mistakes because they attempt many things.”

mh277907's picture

I understand that many have freaked out over the past two games but legitimate criticism is warranted. I said in other threads that I have been really disappointed in Lenzelle Smith's play as of late. A majority of his shots do not come in the flow of the offense and are often contested threes after one or two passes. He has been compounding his mistakes on the defensive end, as well. Honestly, I think the best that this team has played in the past two games is when he and Q have been on bench. I am by no means saying bench the two but I think it is fair to expect a little more out of the two guys who many believed to be leaders of this team. And, honestly, a lot of the "freaking out" was caused by the realization that winning the B1G, which was already a tall order, will be an even greater mountain to climb now after losing a winnable home game. I've waited a long time for OSU fans to expect the same out of the basketball team as they do the football team. I think it is good that we get upset over what we watched on Sunday.


HYDEYOKIDS's picture

I can understand that. The reason I was so surprised by the criticism and panicking is that everybody knew coming in to this season was that this was going to be the "down year" if there is such a thing for a Matta team. Lack of depth and talent in places like the front court and general scoring on offense were always going to be problems. This wasn't a surprise like the lack of competence in the secondary. We knew way ahead of time what the ceiling and the limitations of this team were going to be. Yet despite that I still see a ton of potential, more than I thought this team had coming into the season. We have our problems to work out but can still be something special. I am surprised by all the negative feedback when at this point, this team has still exceeded my expectations coming into this season.

Mix's picture

I think Matta should have preemptively disbanded the team before we had the chance to have a "down year".


Eric1347's picture

This is a great article in that it has come at the right time,sure criticism is is warranted, the backcourt scoring, the front court is soft,as of right now it is a terrible rebounding team,and now this team has become a turnover machine.. But freaking out is over the top I think. Seems like we go through this every year, remembering last year after getting boat raced at Wiskey we were given up for dead then ran off 11 straight. I've seen this too many times to start doubting Thad Matta now. It's because of all of the Hoops success that we have higher expectations and it's because of coach Matta that OSU BBALL is nationally relevant every year. I'm going to save this article on my iPad  to read every time I start to think I know more about about basketball than the coach of THEE OHIO STATE BASKETBALL BUCKEYES !!!!!

German Buckeye's picture

Ahh, the smell of sarcasm in the morning (I'm on the west coast).

Seattle Linga's picture

Where abouts German?

Buckeye Knight's picture

ESPN is saying it's Urban's fault.

Idaho Helga's picture

No, I heard it's their tattoos causing poor play.  Or for Aaron, maybe a lack of one?

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture


Class of 2010.

thekornidentity's picture

I absolutely love the sarcastic articles that are written on this site. You should do even more.

“Nothing that comes easy in this world is worth a damn.” -Woody Hayes

Baroclinicity's picture

Awesome.  Should've written this for football season!

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Earle's picture

We had enough of that in the forums--minus the parody.

Have you tried Not Your Father's Root Beer?  It tastes just like the real thing, but it packs a punch (5.9%ABV).  It's a little sweet for me though.  Two is my limit.

Jugdish's picture

I like the light hearted articles. Sometimes we are so serious and critical, we lose sight of the humorous side of sports articles. This keeps us grounded. Good job Johnny.

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

OvalBeachBum's picture

I thoroughly enjoyed this article.  Don't get me wrong, this team does have flaws, but I've seen to much of Thad Matta to even THINK about jumping ship now.  Stay the course Gents, stay the course...

"Well, thats just like, your opinion, man."  -The Dude

Doc's picture

It's about damn time!  I can't think of a bigger waste of time and resources than intercollegiate athletics.  Next up is foozball.  It's da Debil"

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

BoFuquel's picture

I'm with Thad. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Bucknut-in-the-South's picture

Here I go again, playing the old-guy card. I matriculated at the greatest university in the universe in 1971. That was the year that Woody tore up his first yard marker and Fred Taylor placed an ad in the Lantern imploring anyone who could dribble a basketball and walk at the same time to try out for the team. Gone were the days of Lucas, Bradds, Hoskett, Hornyak, and Cleamons. The star of the team was Wardell Jackson, a decent player and better person who, in the current era, would have been Mark Titus's partner in hilarity. In less than two years, Taylor would be gone, replaced by the dour Eldon Miller, who, in spite of his sour pickle of a face, did elevate the level of player, though not necessarily the success of the team. I was spoiled by the great teams of the sixties, laughed and cried at the ineptitude of the seventies, slept through the early eighties, rejoiced when Gary Williams kicked the program into gear again, and blah blah blah...  I love Thad Matta and his teams. He is a great coach who does things the right way, overcoming debilitating physical pain to do so. Do I get frustrated when Z jacks a 35-footer with 24 seconds left on the shot clock? or when Amir fumbles his tenth pass in the paint? or when Q tries to dribble through 12 guys and throws up a prayer? Yes, by God, I do. But I am seasoned enough to know, after raising two amazing and frustrating kids of my own, that these are good young men who are working their asses off, both on and off the court, led by a once-in-a-generation coach. Personally, I am thanking God every day for the excellence we see on the court 90% of the time. I look forward to great things in the future, and I am well-satisfied that we have the two best major-sport coaches in the country. Thanks, Johnny, for a funny and well-aimed article.

denniscolumbus's picture

Great comments and I'm 100% behind you!

RedsBuckeyeBoy's picture

This is why I never miss a Ginter!

Doc's picture

+1 to you for the Seinfeld gif.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

teddyballgame's picture

I don't even know who I am anymore

skid21's picture

Tried to read this thread but the posts that likely have any substance are just too damn long.

collisionbend's picture

Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?

"There's a fine line between perception and reality." -- Luke Fickell